Nothing says weekend better than some cheesy, greasy pizza. Being from the mid-west I grew up with the delicious Chicago style pizza. A thick slightly crispy crust that is smothered in toppings. While I was never completely on board with the whole sauce goes on top of the cheese thing, everything else about these pizzas had me sold!
Pan pizza was something I never tried at home. I didn't truly believe that a crust so tasty could be created anywhere outside a pizzeria. But I set to work to try and re-create it. After looking into a lot of recipes I settled on a dough that was quite stiff to get the thick chewy crust. The crust is proofed for the second time in a 8-inch cake pan filled with a few tablespoons of oil to create that delicious crust a pan pizza is so famous for.
Any toppings can be added to make this pizza perfect for you. For me it was just plain pepperoni (with extra sauce!) and mozzarella cheese.
Yields 2 9-inch pizzas
1/3 cup warm water (105-115 degrees)
1/3 cup warm milk (105-115 degrees)
1 T. sugar
1 1/2 t. active dry yeast
1/2 t. salt
2 T. olive oil
2 2/3 cup flour
Plus an additional 4-6 T. olive oil for the pans
**Feeling super lazy or low on time? Feel free to buy pre-made bread dough and follow the directions from there!
1 5oz can tomato paste
1 T. chicken stock
1 t. sugar
1 t. oregano
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1/4 t. crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Pepperonis, Ham Slices, Mushrooms, Chopped Onions, Chopped Green Peppers, Crumbled Cooked Sausage, etc.
|Foamy Yeast Mixture|
1) Heat the water and milk together to 105-115 degrees. Dissolve the sugar in the mixture and add yeast to proof. The yeast should get foamy on top.
2) In a separate bowl combine the flour and salt. Pour the yeast mixture and the 2 T. oil into the flour mixture and stir to combine. When the dough has come together turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead dough for about 10 minutes, adding flour a Tablespoon at a time if the dough is still sticky, until elastic and stretchy. Not a kneader or just want to spend your time watching re-runs of Chopped instead of kneading? No problem, place the dough in a stand mixer with dough hook attachment and allow to mix for about 6 minutes.
3) Allow the dough to rise, covered, in a warm place for about 1 hour.
4) Meanwhile whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce. If you don't like things spicy leave out the option red pepper flake. Allow the mixture to sit in the refrigerator to combine the flavors while the dough rises.
5) Divide the remaining evenly 4-6 Tablespoons of olive oil between two 9-inch cake pans. If you like your crust super crispy then add the full 6. If you like a lighter crust 4 will do the trick (don't add less though or the dough will be dry).
6) After the dough has about doubled in size punch it down and divide into two pieces. Roll out the dough into 9-inch circles and place in the oil lined pans. Allow the dough to rest for 30 minutes in a warm place. Meanwhile pre-heat the oven to 475 degrees.
7) Place a few Tablespoons of sauce on each pizza and top with 1/2 of the cheese and whatever toppings you like.
8) Place the pizzas in the pre-heated oven and bake for 12-15 minutes or until the crust begins to brown and the cheese bubbles in the center.
Serve with Parmesan cheese, red pepper flake, and fantastically cold beer!